The European Commission and key stakeholders from the European hydrogen industry have signed a joint declaration “highlighting the crucial role of sustained efforts in renewable hydrogen research and innovation,” the EU’s executive body announced on Wednesday (1 March).

The declaration “commits” the European Commission together with the European hydrogen industry, the scientific community, and European regions, to step up and accelerate joint action in research, development, demonstration and deployment of Hydrogen Valleys, the Commission said.

The declaration, titled Moving the hydrogen economy from niche to scale, was signed by the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, CEO of Hydrogen Europe, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, President of Hydrogen Europe Research President, Luigi Crema and co-leader of the S3 European Hydrogen Valleys Partnership, Tjisse Stelpstra.

The joint declaration also called for sustained investments, strengthening synergies between funding resources, sharing knowledge, stimulating the development of education and training for skills and building regional hydrogen networks and interconnections between Hydrogen Valleys.

“Hydrogen Valleys are key for the creation of a European research and innovation area for hydrogen. They prove that European cooperation can catalyse innovation, create jobs and opportunities while tackling the great energy challenges of our times. And we will rapidly hit the target of doubling the number of operational Hydrogen Valleys by 2025,” Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said.

The EU is taking global leadership in key hydrogen technologies, notably electrolysers, hydrogen refuelling stations and megawatt-scale fuel cells, the Commission. The bloc’s support for the research and development of hydrogen technologies is provided through various funding schemes. Among them is Horizon Europe which funds the Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (CHJU) with a budget of one billion euros, matched by the same amount from industry and research partners.

As part of the REPowerEU strategy, announced in May 2022, the bloc’s executive body allocated an additional 200 million euros to the CHJU to accelerate the rollout of Hydrogen Valleys. The Commission also recently granted approximately four million euros under Erasmus+ for a long-term partnership between industry and education to develop advanced skills for the hydrogen economy.